Tuesday 19 June 2018

Former Cork credit union employee charged with theft of more than €400k

Moira Coughlan, a former employee of Fermoy Credit Union, Cork pictured at Fermoy District Court.
Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts Limited
Moira Coughlan, a former employee of Fermoy Credit Union, Cork pictured at Fermoy District Court. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts Limited
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

A FORMER employee has been charged with the theft of more than €400,000 from an Irish credit union.

Moira Coughlan appeared before Fermoy District Court in respect of 592 charges in respect of Synergy/Fermoy Credit Union in North Cork.

Judge Brian Sheridan was told that the defendant made no reply to Detective Garda James O'Shea when the charges were formally put to her at Fermoy Garda Station.

Inspector Tony O'Sullivan said that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had ruled that the matter be dealt with on indictment by judge and jury before Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

He told the court that the defendant has indicated she will go forward to the Circuit Court on a signed plea of guilty to all 592 charges.

The 592 charges involve a total amount of €407,441.94.

Defence counsel, Joe Cuddigan, confirmed that his client would be signing guilty pleas to all charges.

He pointed out that his client is currently awaiting surgery on her shoulder and has nerve problems with her hand.

In light of that, he asked that she be allowed to sign by marking her initials on the 500 plus charge sheets rather than having to sign each one individually.

The judge allowed her to do so.

Such were the number of charges sheets that a room was provided beside the courtroom for the defendant to sign the pleas while attended by Det Garda O'Shea.

The judge granted a State application for the defendant to be remanded on continuing bail to appear before the next sessions of Cork Circuit Criminal Court which commence on June 6 next.

Judge Sheridan said that the issue of legal aid would have to be resolved by the Circuit Court.

Mr Cuddigan had submitted a sworn affidavit in support of a legal aid application to both the court and the Gardaí.

The defendant of The Stables, Mineville, Knocknahorgan, Sallybrook, Glanmire, Co Cork did not speak during the brief court hearing - she simply stood in court to identify herself to Judge Sheridan.

She faces a total of 592 charges with the counts involving various dates from 2009 to 2015.

All involve funds from Synergy/Fermoy Credit Union where the defendant used to work.

The counts include 251 charges of theft contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Theft and Fraud Offences Act, 2001.

The counts include 300 charges of the unlawful use of a computer contrary to Section 9 of the same Act.

There are a further 41 counts of false accounting contrary to Section 10 of the Act

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